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City of the Dead/Horror Hotel

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City of the Dead/Horror Hotel

Published 1960
Topics Horror

College student Nan Barlow visits the village of Whitewood as research for her paper on witchcraft in New England, particularly the case of Elizabeth Selwyn. Her tutor, Professor Alan Driscoll(Lee), recommends the Raven's Inn, run by a Mrs. Newless.
Rather unwisely, given the amount of low-hanging fog outside(and against the advice of Mrs. Newless), Nan takes an immediate interest in the basement...

Originally uploaded by:

Run time 1:15:54
Producer Ben Arbeid
Production Company Vulcan (later Amicus)
Audio/Visual sound, black & white


Reviewer: Peter Cushing Hammer Horror - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 14, 2011
Subject: a classic
Admittedly some of the dialogue, and acting would never win awards.

Yes the pace slows down in the middle, but that's how movies were made then (when people would sit and watch a full movie and had an attention span of more than 5 seconds).

Atmospheric and well worth a second viewing.
Reviewer: Billhope1974 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 2, 2011
Subject: Laughable in parts, Scary as heck the rest of the time...
I have to admit this movie is probably one of my favorite B-Grade Horror movies. It's got parts that are either great and truly scary or laughable in it's pure silliness.

There's parts that are pretty disturbing with the whole Satanist slant but then there's parts that just make me laugh out loud like Nan the dumb blonde explaining to the head witch what a coven was and the scene where Nan is invited to the after dinner dance at the inn. (I guess 300 year old witches like to do a little light dancing before they sacrifice blonde virgins to Satan!)

Also sorry if I was in a hotel in the middle of nowhere and I hear spooky chanting in Latin coming from under my floor boards and a trap door under my rug I'm not going to go all "Scooby Doo" and go investigating!
Reviewer: appledecca - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 31, 2010
Subject: Good one for HalloweeN!
OO0 whats under the rug ? he he ! Good fun witch flick..nasty little covern..
Reviewer: goonsquad4 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 1, 2010
Subject: It is still scary
LIke many of those who have seen this film, I too first saw it on TV, in the mid 1960s, on a Saturday night on one of those Fright Nights or Chiller Theaters. I was truly terrified by it as a kid, but as an adult I can't get over how creepy this film still is. The tone is set at the outset with the most terrifying and satanic music I have ever heard. The music, combined with those hoods in the opening credit sequence is truly classic and most certainly the most frightening beginning of a film during that era.
This is to this day without a doubt my favorite horror film.
Reviewer: magnette - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 7, 2010
Subject: Movie for the lost generation
I have only seen this film once about twenty years ago. At the time, my girlfriend (now wife) and I were seriously into our goth phase of life. This film was dark and disturbing on many levels and left a deep impression on us. My wife refuses to ever watch it again as it scared her so much at the time.
It is a low budget film, but as others have said, it focuses on the actors and scripts more than trying to wow you with effects. It is a must for anybody that loves dark horror films.
Reviewer: nbdy10 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 2, 2010
Subject: i finally found it by accident (saltygasdoc)
i was really young when i first watched this flick with my aunt late night on a saturday-about 1970. scared the heck out of me. helped spark my interest in horror movies. brings back a lot of good, scary memories of my youth and late night horror shows. still fantastic. thanks.
Reviewer: val lewton - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 8, 2010
Subject: welcom to the hotel
no its not citizen kane , but its funfunfun and did i mention that its fun? this belongs not in the so bad-that-its-good categorybut stands on its own as a great example of low budget horror with great atmosphere . dont hesitate and get yourself some goosebunps!
Reviewer: picfixer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 7, 2010
Subject: Beware of trap doors!
The term "sleeper" could have been invented for this little horror gem. All but unnoticed at its U.S. debut, it didn't pickup a small following until it was released to TV in the mid-sixties. It is an incredibly atmospheric and well plotted tale of modern-day witchcraft and satanic sacrifice. The budget may be small, but the sets and how they are used are remarkable. As for the cast, Venetia Stevenson is pretty, blonde and innocent, but I think she might have skipped at least one acting class. (For some reason she is billed as Venetia Stephenson.) Not to worry, the rest of the cast is fine, including Patricia Jessel who is outstanding as the undying witch Elizabeth Selwyn. Once neglected, now with many fans, a digitally restored version is supposed to be available, but I haven't run across it. CAST NOTE: Venetia Stevenson is the daughter of British actress Anna Lee. "Horror Hotel" was the next to last film of Venetia's brief acting career. Anna Lee can be found here at the Archive in "King Solomon's Mines," "Non-Stop New York" and others.
Reviewer: JAT39 - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 7, 2007
Subject: city of dead
Reviewer: Jarda20 - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 3, 2007
Subject: Jarda20
Reviewer: saltygasdoc - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 16, 2007
Subject: I found It!!!!!!
Yes, chiller theater on a Friday or Saturday in NY; the first time I saw this great, original flick. This was the scariest thing I came across as a lad until havng the unfortunate experience of seeing The Exorcist as a youngun. Seeing this is taking me back. Still good and scary and resonates well despite the lack of techno....

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